🧮 URL-Facebook Group networks

A recipe exploring social media engagement around a given set of URLs.

How are these links shared on Facebook? This recipe shows how you can obtain social media engagement data for a given set of URLs using Facebook’s CrowdTangle tool, and to explore this data using visual network analysis with the open source Gephi software. This recipe focuses on engagement around a set of YouTube URLs on public Facebook groups but it can also be used to obtain data on social media engagement on other platforms (e.g. Reddit, Instagram) for any kinds of URLs.

🗄️ Examples

🧱 Inputs from TCAT

📃 Steps

Step 1 - Assemble a list of URLs

Step 2 - Obtain social media engagement data (manual)

Step 2 - Obtain social media engagement data (script)


Note: This is an experimental option which depends on a script which pulls data from the CrowdTangle API using the /links endpoint. It depends on having access to the CrowdTangle API. It is possible that the script may stop working if the API changes, or if there are issues with the code on ObservableHQ. But if it works it can do the steps above much more quickly.

Step 3 - Visualise using Gephi

We can use Gephi to explore associations between the set of URLs and the groups they are shared in.

🐙 Inspiration, acknowledgments and contributors

This recipe expands on a recipe in Chapter 2 of the Field Guide to “Fake News”. It is illustrated with materials from a Digital Methods Initiative Summer School project on “Demoting, deplatforming and replatforming COVID-19 misinformation” and the 2020-2021 edition of a module on Digital Methods for Internet Studies: Concepts, Devices and Data on the theme of “infodemic” at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. The script was developed by Tommaso Elli at Density Design Lab in Milan.